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Need to build a new PC


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9 replies to this topic

#1 simALITY

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 03:41 PM

I'm not sure where to start, or how much information to give, so this message may be overlong and convoluted.

In brief:
I need to build a computer that:
* Is fast enough for Second Life
* Will survive being used nearly every day for the next five years (with regular maintenance)
* Expandible/upgradable
* Not terribly expensive
I've never built a PC, but I'm pretty sure I can
What I don't know is who to buy from and what brands to avoid
I'd also like to know more about the bare-bone kits

In detail:
When it comes to tinkering with hardware, I'm not a total novice. Just last week I replaced my dad's motherboard. I've also installed, replaced and enslaved HDDs and diskdrives; upgraded my RAM; and inserted a few PCI Express cards. But I've never built my own PC and wouldn't be interested in doing so if I could afford a new one, or if my current desktop hadn't been upgraded as far as it can go (but not far enough to be what I need for the work I do). Not because I don't think I can, but because I don't know the market. I don't know which brands are good. Let alone which ones are shoddy and/or overpriced. Some of those "bare bones" kits like this one (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4282932&CatId=333) look pretty sweet, but are they any good? Is there a retailer that will let me customize my "barebones" package so that it comes with the great motherboard and processor but not with the super-sized harddrive and see-though/light up case?

ANY advice y'all could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Katherine

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#2 figgis41

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 05:31 PM

hi,,, as for hard drives,,, i like to use Seagate Barracuda's,,, i have had quite a few of these and never had trouble yet with one of them,,, i know this is only a matter of time but at the moment they are running great in 5 desktop pc's,,, the 500gb 7200rmp one's are fairly priced too,,,
i had a couple of WD'S go south on me and Maxtors are sh,, but each to there own,,,
good luck.
Figgis,,,, LUFC

#3 DJBPace07

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 05:54 PM

How much are you looking to spend? In order to last for about five years, you will want good hardware. Also, since you're not a gamer you do not need the top-of-the-line components. I usually use Newegg.com for my PC equipment. Below are my hardware suggestions and commentary.

Case: HEC 69R5BB Black Steel ATX Full Tower - I suggest a full tower even though they are heavy. The size allows for plenty of room to work in and will accommodate the largest hardware. This case is simple and cheap, but also durable. There are flashier cases, but you're building a decent budget PC so the extra frills are unnecessary.

Motherboard: ASUS M3N72-D AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA nForce 750a - This is a good board with plenty of features. You do not need a sound card or network card since it is included with the motherboard. Asus is a very good brand.

CPU: AMD Phenom 9950 2.6GHz Socket AM2+ - This is a quad core processor making it more future proof. I chose AMD because the cost is, usually, lower than Intel. This is a Black Edition processor, meaning it has options for overclocking and does not come with a heat sink.

Memory: OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit - You will want two of these memory kits to take full advantage of your operating system and motherboard's capabilities. This RAM is fast and gets good ratings.

Power supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W - Corsair makes very good power supplies. A 650W is plenty of power for this PC and allows for enough power for upgraded components later.

Optical Drive: LITE-ON 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - A simple drive, brand is largely unimportant.

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000KSRTL 500GB - Western Digital makes good drives. With 500GB you will have plenty of space.

CPU Heatsink: ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro - I had one of these, they are quiet and highly efficient.

Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit - You will need to use a 64-bit operating system to take advantage of more than 3.5GB of RAM.

Graphics Card: EVGA 512-P3-N879-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+ - This will handle almost anything thrown at it. EVGA has an excellent warranty. Alternatively, you can get the EVGA 9800 GT if you want to save $50. Also, the motherboard has on-board video so a graphics card isn't needed but getting one is certainly a good idea.

Price: $1,052

Edited by DJBPace07, 29 November 2008 - 02:43 AM.

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#4 xXAlphaXx

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 10:42 PM

For a long term computer you would probably want an intel processor.

Also, stay away from ECS boards.
If I am helping you and I do not respond within 24 hours, please send me a PM. :)

#5 DJBPace07

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 11:18 PM

Intel will cost more, but will have the newer technology. If you're a video gamer, the recent Intel would be best. But if you're building a general use PC on a budget, an AMD Phenom processor would do fine. I frequently use a PC that has an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ (one of the older socket 939's) processor in it and it works fine for normal everyday use.

Edited by DJBPace07, 29 November 2008 - 11:19 PM.

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#6 simALITY

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 08:57 PM

Intel will cost more, but will have the newer technology. If you're a video gamer, the recent Intel would be best. But if you're building a general use PC on a budget, an AMD Phenom processor would do fine. I frequently use a PC that has an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ (one of the older socket 939's) processor in it and it works fine for normal everyday use.


Thanks for the responses, everyone. I've been planning on spending no more than $500.00 on this new machine. I've already got a perfectly good 80gig (and less than half full) harddrive; as well as a video card and soundcard (PCI-expresses) that I would like to continue using. A really good case too, for that matter. I agree that full size towers are heavy, but well worth it. My old desktop uses an AMD processor, but I've nothing against the Intels. Especially if they will last longer.

#7 DJBPace07

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 01:18 AM

You will pay more for an Intel and in terms of lasting, all CPU's last a while if they are properly cooled. As for obsolescence, getting a recent CPU will guard against that. If the processor says Phenom, Core 2, or i7, it is a recent processor. It's going to be difficult getting a $500 PC, but it is doable especially since you already have many of the components.

Motherboard: ASUS M3A78 AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX - This motherboard allows for Crossfire not SLI. Since you're not planning on doing high-end gaming with this PC that should not be an issue. $80

CPU: AMD Phenom 8750 Toliman 2.4GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W Triple-Core Black Edition Processor - This is a unique processor. Typically, processors come in dual or quad core, not triple core. This CPU has processing power greater than a dual core but less than a quad core making it an excellent value and has more longevity. This is why I chose AMD for your PC since Intel does not have triple core processors and their quads that operate at the same clock speed are more expensive. Also, since it is Black Edition, it is easily overclockable and comes at a decent clock speed. $124

CPU Fan: ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro 92mm - I've had one of these, they keep the CPU nice and cool with a minimum of noise. This is required since Black Edition processors do not come with fans. $30

RAM: Patriot Extreme Performance 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - If you have the money, get two of these kits giving you a grand total of 8GB of RAM. Newegg is having a free shipping special on these and there is a $20 mail in rebate. $75 (Before Rebate)

Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit - You need a 64-bit operating system to take advantage of more than 3.5GB of memory. $100

Optical Drive: Lite-On Combo Drive - I'm not sure if you already have one of these, if you do there is no need to purchase this. $22

Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W - If you already have one that works, and has a decent wattage at or higher than this one, purchasing this power supply is not needed. If you plan on using Crossfire or SLI, a more expensive power supply is needed. Corsair makes excellent power supplies. There is also a $10 mail-in rebate for this. $70 (Before Rebate)

If you buy everything on this list (you didn't provide a list of parts you will be reusing) you will spend $576 before rebates. If you reuse your optical drive and power supply, you will be at your budget. This PC mixes value and power. The triple core processor is a great deal in terms of processing abilities, value, and longevity. The RAM amount, which if you purchase two kits is the maximum your motherboard supports, can easily handle anything thrown at it especially when combined with Vista 64-bit.

Edited by DJBPace07, 02 December 2008 - 01:26 AM.

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#8 simALITY

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 04:26 AM

Great! Thank you so much!

Katherine

#9 whansen02

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 01:01 PM

Intel will cost more, but will have the newer technology.


Thanks for the responses, everyone. My old desktop uses an AMD processor, but I've nothing against the Intels. Especially if they will last longer.


Just a question here guys/gals. It's been said that Intel processors offer advanced technology, but how so. I'm just new to learning the inner workings of my computer & seems I've had both Intel & AMD without even noticing. Can anyone explain it for me.
Thanks.

#10 DJBPace07

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 03:57 PM

Intel often incorporates newly researched technology into their processor designs ahead of AMD. For now, Intel is the only one offering the new 45nm design and the i7 is more efficient than AMD's Phenom. But their i7 and the 45nm chips cost more. In January, AMD will release their line of 45nm chips named Phenom II (Deneb). These new Phenom II processors should allow for greater overclocking and faster operation than their current line of processors. Intel processors are often more locked-down than AMD's making them more difficult to overclock. That is, if you choose not to buy the insanely expensive Extreme line of processors. Sometimes AMD is ahead in processor technology, such as with x64. Intel 64 is very similar to AMD 64, in fact, they can use the same compiler. You can view the release dates and the specs for AMD's new line of processors at [H]ardOCP.

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